I am trying to connect a MacBook Pro 2013 to an iMac 2008. The latter is a 24 inch model and has no thunderbolt, just a Mini Display Port.

Any idea how to connect the iMac to the MacBook Pro, to use as an external monitor?

  • Do you want to use both monitors at the sametime or only the iMac screen ? Commented May 20, 2014 at 9:01
  • screenrecycler.com A Cable-Setup is not possible, but the App should work though.
    – rwenz3l
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 22:30

3 Answers 3


This will not work since Target display Mode is a feature only available on iMacs since 2009.

  • Is Target display mode is the only option ?
    – iori
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 1:45
  • 1
    The other option would something like Remote Desktop, so to me : yes. Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 7:44
  1. With both the iMac and Macbook off connect the computers with a Firewire cable.
  2. Turn on the MacBook while holding the "T" key. This puts the MacBook into Target Mode and a firewire icon appears on the screen. From now on you only need touch the iMac Keyboard and mouse.
  3. Turn on iMac while holding the Option key. This allows you to choose the Start Up volume, in this case the MacBook. Use the left and right arrows to select the MacBook icon.
  4. Press Return and iMac will start up with the MacBook System, Users, and Applications.
  5. You can now close the MacBook and enjoy the "big screen".

To turn off.
1.Shut down iMac using the Shut down command in the apple menu (ie the normal way). 2.When the iMac is shut down. Press the power key of the MacBook to turn it off.

Hope this helps

There is no way of connecting the iMac through display port or thunderbolt since it is incompatible as stated in the comments below

  • It's an 24" iMac as stated in his post and it's not compatible : support.apple.com/kb/ht3924 Commented May 20, 2014 at 7:51
  • you're right, I will edit my answer. Commented May 20, 2014 at 8:33
  • Nice solution unfortunately in this way you're using the hardware of the iMac instead of the one of the MacBook
    – Nicholas
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:13
  • You are right Nicholas, I must have read the question wrong Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 9:41

The previous answers are correct: You cannot have a 24" iMac used as a raw display for another Mac (per Matthieu Riegler's link to this article).

A nifty workaround might be Synergy. It's a virtual keyboard/mouse switcher and might be a good fit, assuming your Macs are running at least 10.5.

  • Thanks to all for the speedy replies. It looks like the iMac won't do as a monitor...:-( Will try the Synergy suggestion though.
    – user78596
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 5:59

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